Running for a guilt-free Thanksgiving

Published 7:59 pm Saturday, November 8, 2008

Can you believe in just a couple weeks Thanksgiving will be here? It’s crazy for me to think that Halloween is already gone and the annual feast established by our Pilgrim forefathers is right around the corner. If you are like me, Thanksgiving brings to mind food, football games, the Macy’s parade and a long nap on the couch.

What you might not think about is a means to burn the thousands of calories that we all consume during the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. For many people, the holiday begins with a Turkey Trot of some sort. Turkey Trots are organized races that typically range from 3.1 miles to 5 miles and farther.

Their popularity has grown over the last few years as people continue to make exercising a priority. Races across the country on the November holiday continue to draw larger crowds every year. Although, Suffolk doesn’t have a Turkey Trot or an organized race on turkey day, we do have a race the following Saturday that will enable folks to not only burn those unwanted calories from the dinner, but could test them enough to eliminate those excess calories from the leftovers and desserts.

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The Suffolk News-Herald Race for Literacy, which will benefit the United Way, will be held this year on Nov. 29 This is the inaugural race and will include a half-marathon, 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run. The event will be held in the Harbour View section of North Suffolk, conveniently located off of I-664. Originating at Tidewater Community College and traveling through the Riverfront Community, the race is expected to become a Thanksgiving tradition as much as cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie – without all the calories and the guilt that come from eating too much.

This year, organizers have spent countless hours planning the event in an effort to provide Suffolk with a fun-filled, family-oriented race for people of all talent levels. The half-marathon will cater to serious runners and those rookies who want to enjoy the pride that comes with conquering a 13.2-mile run. Those who have no intention of running farther than 3.1 miles can enjoy the 5K route.

The Race for Literacy is going to be a great event this year, and I hope and expect it will become a Thanksgiving tradition. If you haven’t signed up already and you are interested, check it out online at or call the Suffolk News-Herald at 539-3437 or the United Way at 539-1498.

So when you are shoveling turkey and stuffing down this Thanksgiving and start wondering how you are going to burn those calories, think about the Race for Literacy. Not only will you benefit personally, but all the money raised will go to the United Way’s Raising a Reader program, which is aimed at putting a book in every preschooler’s hand.